Almond is known as the king of the nuts. It is known as badam in Hindi. Almond is the fruit of a medium size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers. Almond belongs to the same family as apricot and peach. The tree bears fruits with stone like seeds. The nut inside the seed is referred to as almond nut.
Almond has immense health benefits. Almonds have a very high amount of protein. Almonds are also very rich in fiber, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamin E. almonds are high in fat. But most of the fat is monounsaturated and is beneficial fat. It has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Besides these, almonds also contain antioxidants, phyto-chemicals and all the essential amino acids.
Almonds help in maintaining the strength of brain, nerves, bones, heart and liver. Almonds are very good for preserving the vitality of brain, strengthening the muscles and in prolonging life. Scientists have observed a link between consumption of almonds and cancer. The flavonoids in almonds are found to be strong suppressors of tumour cells. Almonds also provide protection against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Almonds provide various minerals essential for bone health. Calcium, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium found almonds are good for teeth and bones and maintain bone mineral density. Regular consumption over a period prevents osteoporosis. Almonds are also a very good source of copper. Copper helps to carry oxygen in the body and keeps bones, blood vessels and nerves healthy. Almonds regulate blood pressure. Almonds are also very good for constipation. Almonds work as an excellent laxative. Almonds help in the formation of new blood cells and hemoglobin. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and therefore very good for skin and hair. It is a natural beauty aid. A paste of almond and milk makes a very gentle face scrub. It removes the dead cells, makes skin soft, bleaches and nourishes the skin. Regular application of almond milk paste prevents dryness and appearance of wrinkles. Almond oil is obtained from the dried kernels of almonds. It is also called sweet almond oil. Almond oil is very good for the hair. It treats thinness of hair, dandruff and regular application prevents pre-mature graying. Sweet almond oil is also used as base oil in aromatherapy. This oil has been traditionally used as massage oil. It is an emollient soothes dry and irritated skin, makes skin soft and supple. Almond oil is known as roghan badam in Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, almond is considered very good for brain function and nervous system. In increases intelligence and longevity and promotes calmness of the mind and nerves. The young badam is also eaten while it is still developing. It is called green almond. It is green and fleshy and the inner shell has not hardened.
Almonds should be consumed in the natural form. While buying almonds one should ensure that they are of the fresh harvest. Generally grocers sell old almonds. Fresh almonds have a sweet and fresh taste and are brittle. Almonds should be either soaked overnight and had in the morning or consumed whole. Almonds should be liberally added to custard, puddings, cakes, kheer and home made sweets Almonds should be consumed raw, unroasted and unsalted to reap maximum health benefits.
Here are some of the recipes in my blog where I have used Almonds